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Publication numberUS4468413 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 06/443,006
Publication dateAug 28, 1984
Filing dateNov 19, 1982
Priority dateFeb 15, 1982
Fee statusPaid
Also published asCA1201629A, CA1201629A1, DE3205345A1, EP0086533A1, EP0086533B1
Publication number06443006, 443006, US 4468413 A, US 4468413A, US-A-4468413, US4468413 A, US4468413A
InventorsPeter K. Bachmann
Original AssigneeU.S. Philips Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of manufacturing fluorine-doped optical fibers
US 4468413 A
Abstract
Doped silica glass can be manufactured by reacting gaseous vapors of silica-forming compounds and dopant-forming compounds. Increased fluorine dopant can be provided with less fluorine dopant-forming compound, when the fluorine dopant-forming compound is hexafluoroethane (C2 F6).
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Claims(5)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of manufacturing fluorine-doped optical fiber preforms comprising the steps of:
providing gases or vapors of oxygen, SiCl4, and C2 F6 ;
mixing the gases and vapors;
passing the mixture through a glass tube having an inner wall;
causing the mixture to react to produce at least one fluorine-doped glass layer on the inner wall of the tube, said layer having a refractive index; and
providing at least one glass core layer on the fluorine-doped glass layer, said glass layer having a refractive index greater than the refractive index of the fluorine-doped layer.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that:
the mixture is caused to react by generating a nonisothermal plasma zone within the tube; and
the plasma zone is moved back and forth along the length of the tube.
3. A method of manufacturing flourine-doped preforms for monomode optical fibers, comprising manufacturing a preform as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that:
the glass tube is an undoped silica tube; and
the glass core layer is undoped silica.
4. A method of manufacturing fluorine-doped preforms for monomode optical fibers, comprising manufacturing a preform as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that:
the glass tube is an undoped silica tube; and
the glass core layer is undoped silica.
5. A method of manufacturing layers of fluorine-doped glass comprising the steps of:
providing gases or vapors of oxygen, SiCl4 and C2 F6 ;
mixing the gases and vapors;
passing the mixture over a substrate; and
causing the mixture to react to produce at least one fluorine-doped glass layer on the substrate.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a method of manufacturing fluorine-doped optical fibers.

The use of fluorine as a refractive index decreasing dopant in the manufacture of optical fibers on the basis of fused silica is known from the following patents and publications:

(1) A. Muhlich, K. Rau, F. Simmat, N. Treber, 1st ECOC, IEE, London 1975

(2) K. Abe, 2nd ECOC, IEE, Paris 1976

(3) DE-PS No. 25 38 313 (corresponding to U.S. Pat. No. 4,045,198)

(4) D. Kuppers, J. Koenings, H. Wilson, 3rd ECOC, Munich 1977

(5) D. Kuppers, J. Koenings, H. Wilson, J. Electrochem. Soc. 125 (1978) 1298

(6) A. Muhlich, K. Rau, N. Treber, 3rd ECOC, Munich 1977

(7) K. Rau, A. Muhlich, N. Treber, Topical Meeting on Fiber Transmission, IEEE, Williamsburg 1977

(8) DE-OS No. 29 31 092 (corresponding to U.S. Pat. No. 4,221,825)

(9) B. J. Ainslie, C. R. Day, P. W. France, K. J. Beales, G. R. Newns, Electron. Lett. 15 (1979) 411

(10) J. W. Fleming, V. R. Raju, Electron. Lett. 17 (1981) 867.

In the manufacture of fused silica optical fibers according to both the thermally activated MCVD method (publications 2, 3, 9) and in plasma-activated manufacturing processes (publications 4, 5, 6, 7, 10) fluorine may be used as a dopant. The following compounds may serve as fluorine sources: SiF4 (2, 4, 5), NF3, SF6 (8), CCl2 F2 (3,8) and CF4 (2, 9). By using the MCVD method it is possible to produce glass layers with refractive index differences of approximately 0.5% by fluorine doping (2, 3). However, relatively large quantities of fluorine compound have to be consumed to reach these values. According to (2), a difference in refractive index of 0.5% is reached only with a SiF4 /SiCl4 ratio of 12:1. The large excess of SiF4, however, degrades the deposition from the gas phase. Therefore, in the MCVD process fluorine is usually used only together with other dopants (9, 10).

The use of plasma activation under normal pressure (6, 8) and at low pressure (4, 5) permits the production of glass layers with differences in refractive index of 1% (7) and 1.3% (5), respectively. In these multimode optical fibers doped with fluorine only, optical attenuations of 2.2 dB/km at 1060 nm were realized. Monomode optical fibers have so far not been manufactured in this manner. A high fluorine compound concentration, as compared to the SiCl4, in the gaseous phase is also required in this process.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to produce glass layers having increased differences in refractive index, while reducing the quantity of fluorine compound to be used in the production of such layers.

According to the invention this object is achieved in that hexafluoroethane (C2 F6) is used as a fluorine source in a CVD method.

As a CVD method, preferably the low-pressure PCVD method is used. This method is described in the publication by P. Geittner, D. Kuppers and H. Lydtin entitled "Low-loss optical fibers prepared by plasma-activated chemical vapor deposition (CVD)" (Applied Phys. Lett., Volume 28, No. 11, pages 645-646, June 1976). and in the DE-PS No. 24 44 100 corresponding to U.S. Pat. No. Re. 30,635). The contents of these publications is hereby incorporated as a reference.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a graph showing the differences in refractive index between doped and undoped silica glass layers as a function of the concentration, in the gaseous phase, of the fluorine compound used to make the doped layers. Curves are shown for various methods and for various fluorine dopant-providing compounds.

FIG. 2 shows a Michelson interference-micro-graph of a preform for a monomode optical fiber.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In FIG. 1 the differences in refractive index (in per cent) between doped and undoped silica glass layers are plotted against the concentration, ##EQU1## in the gas phase, of fluorine dopant-producing compound. In this equation, QD is the gas flow of the fluorine compound, and QT is the total gas flow. The individual curves represent values for the following methods, systems, and dopants, respectively:

1 PCVD method, system FeO2 /SiO2,

2 MCVD method according to Publication (2),

3 Method according to Publication (8), fluorine compound CCl2 F2,

4 Method according to Publication (8), fluorine compound NF3,

5 Method according to Publication (8), fluorine compound SF6,

6 PCVD method, system F/SiO2 with SiF4 as a fluorine source, Publication 5,

7 Monomode preform manufactured according to the invention.

8 PCVD method, system F/SiO2 with C2 F6 as a fluorine source.

FIG. 1 shows that it is possible according to the invention by using C2 F6 (hexafluoroethane "Freon 116") to achieve differences in refractive index of more than 2% (See, curve 8). This is an increase of more than 50% as compared to the highest values reached so far in systems with pure fluorine doping and pure germanium dioxide doping.

The invention also permits the manufacture of optical fibers with a numerical aperture of more than 0.3% while using only fluorine as a dopant. As appears from FIG. 1, a further advantage of the present invention is that very high differences in refractive index can be achieved with very small concentrations, in the gaseous phase, of the dopant C2 F6. A difference in refractive index of 1% is already reached with a ratio of C2 F6 /SiCi4 of approximately 0.05. hexafluoroethane is therefore to be considered as an extraordinarily active fluorine source when used according to the invention. Also, when C2 F6 is used according to the invention, attenuation values of 1.5 dB/km at 1050 nm are achieved.

By means of the PCVD method and while using C2 F6, monomode optical fibers consisting of a cladding of silica glass, an intermediate layer whose refractive index has been reduced by fluorine doping, as well as a pure silica core were manufactured.

FIG. 2 shows a Michelson-interference micrograph of such a monomode optical fiber. Such a fiber is advantageous because the core consists of pure silica glass and consequently has a smaller Rayleigh scattering than fiber cores with doping. Moreover, during collapsing of inner-coated tubes to form fibers, dopants may evaporate out of the core material. This results into a so-called dip in the refractive index profile. As the inner-coated tubes manufactured according to the invention have only silica on the inner surface, the described dip in the refractive index no longer occurs.

Monomode, fibers manufactured according to the invention hence show a lower sensitivity to bending then fibers with a doped core which were also manufactured via an internal coating method.

The invention will now be described in greater detail with reference to specific examples. The examples generally correspond to the examples for the PCVD method described in the Publications (4) and (5) in which hexafluoroethane C2 F6 was used as a dopant instead of SiF4.

EXAMPLE 1

A constant SiCl4 flow of 40 sccm with approximately 220 sccm oxygen and 1 sccm C2 F6 was passed through a silica tube (length 188 cm, outside diameter 14.2 mm, inside diameter 11.8 mm) for approximately 150 minutes (sccm being the equivalent gas flow Q in cm3 of gas per minute at 1 bar at 0 C.) The pressure inside the tube is approximately 10 to 14 mbar. During this period of time the outer wall of the tube is heated to approximately 1150 C. A microwave resonator with 200 W power absorption reciprocates along the tube at 3.5 m/minute and induces the deposition of fluorine-containing vitreous silica layers. Finally a few SiO2 layers without C2 F6 addition were deposited. The coated tube was then processed to form a monomode fiber. The core of this fiber as well as the cladding consist of pure silica. the intermediate layer has a refractive index which is reduced by approximately 0.5 to 0.6%.

EXAMPLE 2

By means of the method described in Example 1, with the variation that the gaseous composition contained between 0.05 and 5.7 sccm C2 F6, differences in refractive index between 0.05% and 2.0% were produced.

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Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1Abe, K., "Fluorine Doped Silica for Optical Waveguides," 2nd ECOC, IEE, Paris, 1976.
2 *Abe, K., Fluorine Doped Silica for Optical Waveguides, 2nd ECOC, IEE, Paris, 1976.
3Ainslie, G. J., et al., "Preparation of Long Lengths of Ultra-Low-Loss Single-Mode Fibre," Electronics Letters, vol. 15, No. 14, pp. 411-413, (Jul. 1979).
4 *Ainslie, G. J., et al., Preparation of Long Lengths of Ultra Low Loss Single Mode Fibre, Electronics Letters, vol. 15, No. 14, pp. 411 413, (Jul. 1979).
5Fleming, J. W., et al., "Low-Loss Single-Mode Fibers Prepared by Plasma-Enhanced MCVD," Electronics Letters, vol. 17, No. 23, pp. 867-868, (Nov. 1981).
6 *Fleming, J. W., et al., Low Loss Single Mode Fibers Prepared by Plasma Enhanced MCVD, Electronics Letters, vol. 17, No. 23, pp. 867 868, (Nov. 1981).
7Geittner, T., et al., "Low-Loss Optical Fibers Prepared by Plasma-Activated Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 28, No. 11, pp. 645-646, (1976).
8 *Geittner, T., et al., Low Loss Optical Fibers Prepared by Plasma Activated Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), Applied Physics Letters, vol. 28, No. 11, pp. 645 646, (1976).
9Kuppers, D., et al., "Application of the Plasma-Activated Chemical Vapour Deposition (PCVD) Process to the Preparation of Fluorine Doped Fibres," Third ECOC, Munich, 1977.
10Kuppers, D., et al., "Deposition of Fluorine-Doped Silica Layers from a SiCl4 /SiF4 /O2 Gas Mixture by the Plasma-CVD Method," Journal of the Electrochemical Society: Solid-State Science and Technology, vol. 125, No. 8, pp. 1298-1302, (Aug. 1978).
11 *Kuppers, D., et al., Application of the Plasma Activated Chemical Vapour Deposition (PCVD) Process to the Preparation of Fluorine Doped Fibres, Third ECOC, Munich, 1977.
12 *Kuppers, D., et al., Deposition of Fluorine Doped Silica Layers from a SiCl 4 /SiF 4 /O 2 Gas Mixture by the Plasma CVD Method, Journal of the Electrochemical Society: Solid State Science and Technology, vol. 125, No. 8, pp. 1298 1302, (Aug. 1978).
13Muhlich, A., et al., "A New Doped Synthetic Fused Silica as Bulk Material for Low-Loss Optical Fibres," First ECOC, IEE, London, 1975.
14Muhlich, A., et al., "Preparation of Fluorine-Doped Silica Preforms by Plasma Chemical Technique," Third ECOC, Munich, 1977.
15 *Muhlich, A., et al., A New Doped Synthetic Fused Silica as Bulk Material for Low Loss Optical Fibres, First ECOC, IEE, London, 1975.
16 *Muhlich, A., et al., Preparation of Fluorine Doped Silica Preforms by Plasma Chemical Technique, Third ECOC, Munich, 1977.
17Rau, K., et al., "Progress in Silica Fibers with Fluorine Dopant," Topical Meeting on Fiber Transmission, IEEE, Williamsburg, 1977.
18 *Rau, K., et al., Progress in Silica Fibers with Fluorine Dopant, Topical Meeting on Fiber Transmission, IEEE, Williamsburg, 1977.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification65/391, 65/DIG.16, 65/415, 427/579, 65/397, 65/417, 65/425
International ClassificationG02B6/00, C03C1/00, C03B37/018
Cooperative ClassificationY10S65/16, C03B2201/12, C03B37/0183, C03B37/01807
European ClassificationC03B37/018B2B2, C03B37/018B
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 24, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: U.S. PHILIPS CORPORATION; 100 EAST 42ND ST., NEW Y
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BACHMANN, PETER K.;REEL/FRAME:004084/0574
Effective date: 19821129
Dec 30, 1987FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Feb 3, 1992FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Feb 1, 1996FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
May 5, 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: PLASMA OPTICAL FIBRE B.V., NETHERLANDS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:U.S. PHILIPS CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:009207/0784
Effective date: 19980430